Netflix to Bow Ricky Gervais Comedy-Drama Sept. 1221 May, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
‘Derek’ marks SVOD pioneer’s fourth original series, and could move it next month past Disney Channel and Fox in the number of hours watched per household
Netflix May 21 said it will make available on Sept. 12 all seven episodes of original series “Derek,” starring three-time Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais.
Netflix subscribers will have access in all territories, including the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Latin America, Brazil and the Nordics – except for the U.K., where the series premiered on TV and was recently renewed for a second season. David Earl, Karl Pilkington and Kerry Godliman star in “Derek” along with Gervais.
“Derek” is a bittersweet comedy-drama is about a group of outsiders living on society’s margins in a retirement home, centers around Derek (Gervais), whose love for his job at the home shines through.
The show is the fifth original Netflix series following “Lilyhammer,” “House of Cards,” “Hemlock Grove” and the revival of “Arrested Development,” which launches May 26.
Gervais is creator and star of the original British version of “The Office,” one of the most successful British comedies of all time, and shown in more than 90 countries with seven remakes — including the just-concluding U.S. version with Steve Carell.
“Ricky Gervais is one of the most distinctive comedy voices of his generation,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix in a statement. “With ‘Derek,’ Ricky takes on new territory and mixes comedy with drama that is sometimes touching and sometimes heartbreaking.”
The shows could push Netflix past the Disney Channel and Fox in terms of hours watched per household, said Richard Greenfield with BTIG Research in New York. Netflix would still lag behind CBS, ABC and NBC in hours watched per household.
Greenfield said domestic cable viewership is up 9%, pay-TV, Spanish-language broadcast/other is up 5%, while major TV broadcast viewership is down 13%. Time-shifting continues to rise — up to nearly 9% of total weekly viewing, according to the analyst.
“If Netflix was included as a pay cable channel, akin to HBO or Showtime, the broadcast statistics would look even worse, albeit total time spent watching video would have grown faster,” Greenfield wrote in a May 21 post.